Following World War II, however, the Western Pacific finally
managed to achieve some consistency and success gaining traffic and
upgrading its property. It also held excellent
presidents starting during the 1950s with Frederic B. Whitman, which
brought continued and upgraded improvements to the railroad and its
property. Other presidents such as Alfred Pearlman, an excellent manager
and railroader, followed Whitman and carried the company
through the 1970s bringing additional efficiencies and progress to the
|A WP GP20, #2001, and a number of other Geeps pull a freight through the Niles Canyon near Sunol, California during August of 1969.|
It was the 1980 deregulation of the rail industry that ironically did
the WP in. Ultimately the railroad’s size and being surrounded by
giants such as Union Pacific, Southern Pacific, and Burlington Northern
resulted in the railroad being unable to compete with the free
rate-making now available to these railroads (meaning the larger lines
could haul traffic between many more and larger points than the WP
resulting in them being able to offer cheaper rates than the WP).
Naturally it did not take long for the railroad to be forced into a
decision, none of which would allow it to remain independent. Thus, the
Union Pacific would be the road that would offer to purchase the WP and
this it did merging the railroad into its system just before Christmas,
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Diesel Locomotive Roster
The American Locomotive Company
|Heading into the setting sun is an A-B-B lashup of F7s, led by #914-A, as their pig train rolls eastbound near Livermore, California during July of 1966.|
The Baldwin Locomotive Works
Electro-Motive Corporation/Electro-Motive Division
|WP GP35 #3021, two other Geeps, and a U-boat lead a westbound freight through Quincy, California during August of 1969.|
|F7B||804B-805B, 913B-924B, 913C-924C||1950-1951||26|
|Behemoth steam power was actually quite common on the Western Pacific. Seen here is Class M-100 4-6-6-4 Challenger #407 resting at the yard in Wells, Nevada on August 18, 1949.|
Steam Locomotive Roster
Notable Passenger Trains
Exposition Flyer: (Chicago - Oakland)
Feather River Express: (Oakland - Portola, California)
Royal Gorge: (Oakland - St. Louis)
Scenic Limited: (Oakland - St. Louis)
Zephyrette: (Oakland - Salt Lake City)
|F7A #913-A pops out of the tunnel along the Keddie Wye in Keddie, California as it heads back to the nearby yard during August of 1969.|
Today, the Western Pacific may no longer be an operating railroad but its legacy
lives on in its main lines, the Inside Gateway and Feather River Route,
which serve as important aspects of Union Pacific's gigantic system. It's jointly operated California Zephyr
with the Denver & Rio Grande Western and Chicago, Burlington &
Quincy also lives on under Amtrak, albeit following a route somewhat different than the original. So for WP fans, all is not lost as UP
locomotives still ply the Feather River Canyon and photographers can
still catch freights on the famous Keddie Wye. Finally, be sure and catch UP's heritage WP unit, SD70ACe #1983 which wears an inspired livery of the railroad.
Related Reading You May Enjoy
Classic Railroads Of The West And Midwest
Burlington, "Way Of The Zephyrs"
Rio Grande, "Main Line Thru The Rockies"
Colorado & Southern
C&NW, "Route Of The '400'"
Rock Island, "Route Of The Rockets"
GN, "Route Of The Empire Builder"
NP, "Main Street Of The Northwest"
GB&W, "The Green Bay Route"
IC, "The Main Line Of Mid-America"
IT, "The Road Of Personalized Services"
IHB, "Connects With All Chicago Railroads"
CMStP&P, "Route Of The Hiawathas"
Monon, "The Hoosier Line"
Nickel Plate, "High Speed Service"
"Ship Soo To And Through The Upper Midwest"
St. Louis Southwestern
M&StL, "The Peoria Gateway"
The Missabe Road
MoPac, "Route Of The Eagles"
CGW, "The Corn Belt Route"
DW&P, "Delivered With Pride"
KCS, "Route Of The Southern Belle"
Wabash, "Follow The Flag"
Santa Fe..."All The Way!"
St. Louis-San Francisco Railway
EP&SW, "The Southwestern Route"
SP, "Route Of The Daylights"
UP, "We Will Deliver"